Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Massachusetts batteries

Entering the fall of 1863, the volunteer light batteries from Massachusetts served either in the Eastern Theater or the Department of the Gulf.  All told, the Bay State provided sixteen light batteries to Federal service during the war (save one or two thirty-day batteries at the start of the war).  At the end of the third quarter, 1863, fourteen of those had mustered.  However, the clerks at the Ordnance Department “shorted” that count:

0257_1_Snip_MA

With the addition of the 15th Battery, this is an improvement over the previous quarter.  While we can excuse the absence of the 14th and 16th Batteries, which would not form until the winter of 1864, the 13th Battery should be on this list.  I’ll list all sixteen here, with placeholders, for sake of complete coverage:

  • 1st Battery: At Culpepper [sic], Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with the Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. and Captain William H. McCartney remained in command.  More precisely, the battery was with the corps near Stone-House Mountain, on the right end of the Federal deployment in Culpeper County at that time.
  • 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims commanded this battery, assigned to Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  The battery may have retain six 6-pdr rifled field guns mentioned earlier in the year. Following the surrender of Port Hudson, the battery transferred to the corps artillery reserve (having been assigned to Fourth Division during the siege), and returned to Baton Rouge.  At the end of September, the battery transferred again, this time to the Cavalry Division of the corps.  The battery saw field service in the Teche Campaign later in the fall.
  • 3rd Battery: Reporting at Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 6-pdr field guns.   This is obviously an error, as the battery held 12-pdr Napoleons (no batteries then assigned to the Army of the Potomac had 6-pdrs this late in the war).  Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps. With Captain Augustus Martin in command of the brigade, Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott remained in charge of the battery.  We might quibble over the location and say the battery was in Culpeper at the end of September.
  • 4th Battery: Reporting from “Camin Grove Bayou” in Louisiana (a transcription I am struggling with).  The battery had four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles.  Under Captain George G. Trull, the battery remained with Third Division, Nineteenth Corps.   The battery moved around much during the summer and early fall with stays at Port Hudson, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge.  They were at Fort Brashear, outside Morgan City, Louisiana at the end of September.  The battery would participate in the Teche Expedition in October.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting at Centreville, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command, and the battery assigned to the Fifth Corps.  The location should be Culpeper, but reflects a later reporting date.
  • 6th Battery: At Algiers, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, commanded by Captain William W. Carruth.  When Carruth mustered out on October 3rd, Lieutenant Edward K. Russell (2nd Battery, above) transferred to command.  Then in December, Lieutenant John F. Phelps, of the battery, took command.  Phelps would be promoted to Captain with commission back dated to October 3.  During their stay at Algiers, the battery was reequipped and reduced to four guns.
  • 7th Battery: At Camp Barry, D.C., with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  This battery had an eventful summer, though not one for winning battle streamers.  Battery assigned to First Division, Seventh Army Corps,  and commanded by Captain Phineas A. Davis at the start of the summer.  At the start of July, the battery was among the forces employed for an expedition from White House to the South Anna River. On July 20, the battery was sent to Camp Marshall, in D.C.  And from there dispatched by steamer to New York City, camping on Madison Square, to suppress the draft riots.  On September 11, the battery returned to Washington, going to Camp Barry.  Davis accepted a promotion, and left the battery to Lieutenant Newman W. Storer (who was soon made captain).
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out the previous November at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: Culpeper, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Remaining with the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Captain John Bigelow commanded, but was recovering from wounds.  Lieutenant Richard S. Milton filled in his place.
  • 10th Battery:  At Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. When French’s Division came to the Army of the Potomac, the battery moved with its parent organization into Third Corps.  Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded. The location is presumably associated with the November date of return.  At the end of September, the battery was with the corps, just west of Culpeper.
  • 11th Battery: No return.  This battery mustered out of service in May 1863. Though it did see some use suppressing draft riots in the mid-summer months.  Captain Edward J. Jones commanded. The battery would muster back into service, under Jones, in January 1864.
  • 12th Battery:  At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with four 6-pdr field guns (down two 3-inch rifles from the previous quarter). Listed in the artillery reserve of the Nineteenth Corps. After serving by detachments during the Port Hudson campaign, the battery consolidated back in New Orleans in late July.  It was stationed at Tivoli Circle (you know… were once a statue to a Confederate leader stood) at the end of September.  Captain Jacob Miller remained in command.
  • 13th Battery: Not listed. The 13th Battery suffered heavily in their first year of service.  They’d lost sixty horses in the transit to New Orleans (that included a six week stay at Fort Monroe). And what horses they had when arriving at New Orleans were re-assigned to other batteries. Put to work on the Port Hudson siege lines, sickness and disease brought the battery down to fifty men by the end of August.  At that time, Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin returned home to recruit more men.  In his place, Lieutenant Ellis L. Motte was in command of a detachment, assigned to the 2nd Battery (above).
  • 14th Battery: Not listed.  Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.
  • 15th Battery: At Bayou St. John, Louisiana with no reported artillery.  Captain Timothy Pearson’s battery arrived in Louisiana in April.  But their equipment and horses was re-allocated to other batteries at that time.  The men served at posts around New Orleans as garrison artillery until the end of December.
  • 16th Battery: Not listed.  Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.

Turning to the ammunition, we look at the smoothbore first:

0259_1_Snip_MA

Lots of those to go around:

  • 1st Battery: 286 shot, 93 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon (at least the clerks got the ammunition in the right columns!)
  • 4th Battery: 269 shell, 147 case, and 55 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 6th Battery: 41 shot, 163 shell, 251 case, and 60 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 96 shell, 128 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 9th Battery: 182 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 54 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 12th Battery: 4 shot and 175 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Moving over to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

0259_2_Snip_MA

Four reporting:

  • 4th Battery: 39 canister, 265 percussion shell, and 60 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 138 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 120 canister, 236 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 500 shot, 115 canister, 110 percussion shell, and 220 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

No reported quantities on the next page:

0260_1_Snip_MA

But there were Schenkl projectiles to account for:

0260_2_Snip_MA

Three batteries:

  • 5th Battery: 140 shell and 930 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 720 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 15 shell and  240 case for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, the small arms columns:

0260_3_Snip_MA

By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Eight Navy revolvers, nine cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: One Army revolver, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: One breechloading carbine, seven Army revolvers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Army revolver and twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers, ten Navy revolvers, and thirty (?) cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Fifteen Navy revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Eight Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Sixteen Navy revolvers and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and thirty-six (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Fifty rifles (type unspecified), fourteen Navy revolvers, and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.

We will discuss the Heavy Artillery from Massachusetts in a later post.  But for now that’s the summary of the numbered batteries.

Advertisements

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Maine’s Batteries

Despite a summer of campaigning and major battles, the third quarter, 1863 summaries for Maine captured information from four of the six batteries:

0257_1_Snip_ME

Two of those returns were posted in October. The clerks had to wait until the winter for the other two.  The same two batteries, 1st and 3rd, failed to file returns the previous quarter.  The Maine batteries are at times identified by numbered as well as lettered designations.  For simplicity here, I’ll retain the convention used by the Ordnance Department clerks… the numbers:

  • 1st Battery: No return. Captain Albert W. Bradbury resumed command of the battery after July.  Battery remained assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  After the fall of Port Hudson, the battery moved with its parent formation back to Baton Rouge.  Reports earlier in the year gave the battery had four 6-pdr rifled guns and three 12-pdr howitzers.
  • 2nd Battery: “In the field” with four (down from six) 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  This is Captain James A. Hall’s battery, First Corps, Army of the Potomac.  Hall was up for promotion later in the year.  “In the field” was in Culpeper County, as of the end of September, 1863.  The battery would report to Camp Barry in November.  And around the same time, Hall would receive a much deserved promotion (and soon command the artillery school at Camp Barry).
  • 3rd Battery:  No report.  At this stage of the war, 3rd Battery was re-designated Battery M, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery (it would later revert to light artillery). Captain James G. Swett commanded.  The battery was stationed in the Defenses of Washington, on the north side of the Potomac.  They were, for at least a portion of this time, assigned to Battery Jameson, outside Fort Lincoln.
  • 4th Battery: Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Captain O’Neil W. Robinson, Jr. remained in command.  The battery returned to the Army of the Potomac, as part of French’s Division, under Third Corps.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting, appropriately “in the field” with four (down from six) 12-pdr Napoleons, from a report filed in March 1864.  Captain Greenleaf T. Stevens remained in command of this battery, which remained with First Corps, Army of the Potomac, through the end of the reporting period.  As such, its location was “in the field” in Culpeper County, Virginia.
  • 6th Battery: Another battery reporting from Culpeper, Virginia, in January 1864, this time with four 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery transferred from the 4th Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac to the 1st Volunteer Brigade (commanded by its original commander – Lieutenant Colonel Freeman McGilvery. Lieutenant William H. Rogers resumed command of the battery.

Of note, the 7th Maine Light Battery began formation in the fall of 1863. Though it would not formally muster until December.

And, mentioned above in regard to the 3rd Battery, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery, under Colonel Daniel Chaplin, was part of the defenses of Washington, D.C., assigned to the north side of the Potomac.  The regiment had detachments in Maine on recruiting duties and at the seacoast fortifications (mostly recruits being trained up for duty).  This regiment was destined to see combat in the year that followed, but as one of the “heavies” given infantry duties in the Overland Campaign.

Let us move across the summary and discuss the ammunition on hand for the four reporting field batteries, starting with the smoothbore:

0259_1_Snip_ME

Two Napoleon batteries:

  • 5th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, 188 case, and 68 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

The number of rounds on hand for the Napoleons seems low to me.  A standard Napoleon ammunition chest held 32 rounds.  Each gun in the battery should have at least four such chests (one on the limber, three with the caisson) if not a few more.  Do the math.  5th and 6th Batteries had roughly a chest per gun.  Both returns were filed at the start of 1864, while the batteries were enjoying the winter encampment.  And those batteries would have plenty of ammunition to fill the chests.  I suspect in this case the returns were “as of the reporting date” and not “on hand at this time.”  But without seeing the actual return, that cannot be determined for certainty.

Moving to the rifled projectiles.  The batteries with 3-inch Ordnance Rifles reported Hotchkiss rounds:

0259_2_Snip_ME

Two batteries reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: 71 shot, 99 canister, and 240 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 120 canister, 381 fuse shell, and 699 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

As with the Napoleon batteries, 2nd Battery seems short on ammunition, with a couple of chests worth on hand (though we’ll see enough for a couple more chests from the Schenkl columns below).  4th Battery had but six total.

We rarely have seen solid shot reported for field batteries in the 3-inch or 10-pdr Parrott calibers.  Solid shot, or bolt as the Parrotts were designated, were good for counter-battery work.  Though they could not match the performance of solid round shot against infantry.

As for 2nd Battery and their Schenkl rounds:

0260_1_Snip_ME

  • 2nd Battery:  258 shot for 3-inch rifles.

Taken with the 71 Hotchkiss, that’s a lot of solid shot! Almost two full chests worth.

More Schenkl on the next page.

0260_2_Snip_ME

  • 2nd Battery: 115 shell for 3-inch rifles.

With the remarks and questions about ammunition taken in consideration, we continue to the small arms:

0260_3_Snip_ME

By battery:

  • 2nd Battery: Sixteen Army revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and eleven cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Ten Army revolvers and fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Seven Army revolvers, a hundred Navy revolvers and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.

All considered, the numbers for the Maine batteries offer some insight into logistics at this time of the war for the Federal ranks.  Two of the batteries gave returns close to the end of the reporting period. And we have conjectural evidence the other two were giving “as of that date” returns.  From those returns, we conclude the battery had one chest on hand for many of its guns.

But before we go off worrying the Army of the Potomac had some shortage of shells, we have to keep in mind what we know outside of those batteries.  The artillery chief (Brigadier-General Henry Hunt) was not filling the telegraph lines with pleas for more ammunition.  Nor was the ordnance or quartermaster sections reporting any Army-wide shortage.  So perhaps the Maine batteries were reporting what they had on hand, at the end of a summer of hard campaigning with little time to resupply.  Meanwhile, the missing set of data here is what was retained on hand at the Army-level in Hunt’s famous artillery trains.  Those chests, resupplied after Gettysburg, represented a ready supply to be quickly applied where need was felt.  Perhaps the numbers indicate Hunt placed priority to resupply of the trains over filling chests in the batteries?

Thus, if we take these numbers at face, on the eve of the Bristoe Station Campaign at least four batteries had simply enough rounds for a brief engagement.  Though resupply was but a short ride away.

Another “number” to consider is the reduction of three batteries to four guns.  This trend would continue through the Overland Campaign and reflected policy changes.  Seasoned, veteran infantry required less gun tubes per frontage for support.  Fewer guns to support meant fewer ammunition chests.  And such cycles back into the discussion of logistics, among other things.

“…the bridges are always wider than the flood….”

I direct you to a short post from Harry Smeltzer, published yesterday.  The center piece of that post is this photo:

flood2

My friend, Bud Hall, took this picture earlier in the week.  You are looking at Ruffin’s Run.  Normally, it is a sleepy little stream that bisects the northern end of the Brandy Station battlefield.  Crossing at this bridge is Beverly’s Ford Road, an ancient path to… well Beverly’s Ford, an important crossing of the Rappahannock. And you are looking in the direction of the Rappahannock, which is not far beyond the distant tree line at the end of this road.  Ruffin’s Run flows from left to right in this view.  As you can see in this photo, the run is just returning to its banks having expanded out across the flood plain, showing just how strong and nasty it could be!

On the morning of June 9, 1863, Colonel Benjamin “Grimes” Davis lead his brigade down this very road (coming towards the camera).  It was here… well more accurately in that tree line in the distance… that the Gettysburg Campaign began when Davis’s men engaged Confederate pickets covering Beverly’s Ford.  Davis, however, would not return this way.  He was mortally wounded just a short way down the road (behind the photographer) that morning as the fighting unfolded.

Yet, that is just the “banner event” which one might link to this spot.  I run out of fingers and toes counting the number of times we read of Federal or Confederate troops passing this very road on the way to, or coming from, Beverly’s Ford.  And of course, during the winter of 1864, this was practically a highway with Federal troops moving to and fro within their winter encampment.  A simple blog post is not sufficient to detail this location’s pedigree.

And let us be thankful this spot is preserved and being maintained to within bounds of its historical appearance.  While we might quibble over the safety rails and width of the modern gravel road, lacking that it is from wagon ruts.  But we will agree this spot leaves the integrity of Ruffin’s Run and its floodplain.  No additional drainage is there to clear excess water from those spring and summer freshets.  That bottom land grows up wild.  The stream is as “untamed” as it was in 1863.  Thankfully, because preservationists thwarted attempts to convert this ground into a racetrack or office complex.  It’s battlefield.  And Grimes Davis would probably not have much trouble orienting himself, if brought to the spot over a century and a half after that fateful day.

Great, battlefield preserved…. greenspace… but what of it?  I’ll tell you what of it.  That nice ribbon of mud across the road is the stream talking to us.  That is a history lesson.  Put yourselves in the saddle as a trooper crossing Ruffin’s Run or any similar stream in the central Virginia Piedmont – say, as I offered to Harry, Stoneman’s raid at the time of Chancellorsville.  Just one heavy rain might surge that stream to overflow up past the banks and into the flood plain.  So from that ribbon of mud in the foreground out to the distant rise beyond, we are fording.  Fording a raging, angry stream which on the map is but a dashed line indicating a minor little flow.  Everything you own and possess will soon be wet… including the tender hind quarters that sits in that McClellan saddle.  While in good weather this crossing would barely get a passing consideration.  In bad weather, this is simply a bridge which… well… isn’t long enough.

There are some who’ll jump into the conversation about preservation to say, “you don’t really have to stand there in order to understand the battle.”  Maybe one can grasp the high level points by just looking at a map accompanying good prose.  But nothing, I would challenge, can ever replace the actual ground of the battlefield as a primary source.  And therefore, any historian who writes of a battle without actually becoming intimately familiar with the ground does so with feet firmly planted in thin air.

Now Harry closes with a wonderful quote from Rick Atkinson’s The Day of Battle, which I’ll likewise quote here (emphasis is Harry’s and mine):

In the land of theory…there is none of war’s friction. The troops are, as in fact they were not, perfect Tactical Men, uncannily skillful, impervious to fear, bewilderment, boredom, hunger, thirst, or tiredness. Commanders know what in fact they did not know…Lorries never collide, there is always a by-pass at the mined road-block, and the bridges are always wider than the flood. Shells fall always where they should fall.

We sometimes easily fall into the “wargamer” trap of thinking all battlefield occurrences can be distilled down to statistical probabilities with great certainties.  Folks will tell us how “morale” and “unit cohesion” should work based on nice, clean predictions, distilled into “factors.”  Or we will roll a pair of six sided die and consult a table to determine if the rains prevent unit movement.  The real world just doesn’t work that easily.  Every step is another contention, large or small, to be resolved.  Maybe the passage is eased by a bridge.  Or maybe the stream has flooded over the bridge and there simply is no way around save getting wet.  And that’s not just in war, mind you!

In my early days, I had the honor of serving on the staff of Brigadier General Herbert Lloyd.  The man carried around a book to record quotations.  And he offered a copy of that collection as professional reading material to all serving with him (I still have mine, in easy reach as I type).  A quote that General Lloyd passed along, which if it was not his own, sure sounded like such, went:

Battles will always be fought uphill, in the mud, with the sun and wind in your face, at a point where four map sheets come together.  There will be adversity, so prepare for it.

The lesson, which calls out from that muddy flood plain of Ruffin’s Run, is simply – adversity will always be there.  It’s knowing how different people adapt to meet that adversity which makes history a worthy course of study.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Louisiana Heavy Artillery

Moving down the pages in the summary statements for the third quarter of 1863, we have a placeholder entry for Louisiana:

0257_1_Snip_LA

Just that one line:

  • 1st Heavy Artillery:  No location given.  Just the notation for infantry stores.

Good to see the clerks at the Ordnance Department were holding to procedures and at least accounting for the artillery units then in service.  It would not be out of the normal practice for a heavy artillery unit to have a blank summary.  Much of the time, the heavy artillery pieces were assigned to the installation (be that a fort or other).  And the regiment was then only left to account for small arms… in this case covered under “infantry stores”.  I don’t have copies of the infantry summary statements, but presumably we’d find an entry for this regiment detailing muskets, other weapons, and accouterments.

But “this regiment” deserves a full explanation here.  If we consult Dyer’s Compendium, we find a listing for the regiment as:

1st REGIMENT HEAVY ARTILLERY (AFRICAN DESCENT).
Organized at New Orleans, La., November 29, 1862. Attached to Defences of New Orleans and duty as Garrison Artillery till November, 1863. Designation of Regiment changed to 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery November 19, 1863, which see.

As the name implies, this was a colored unit, formed from African-Americans then in New Orleans and other locations under Federal control.

Cross referencing those names against the returns from the Official Records (notably, the order of battle for the Department of the Gulf) we find subordinates of this regiment begin appearing in May 1863.  At that time, Company B was part of the Defenses of New Orleans, under Captain Soren Rygaard (the printed Official Records say “Loren” but his enlistment papers and other documents read “Soren”).  By August, the returns added Company C, with Rygaard now commanding a battalion of the regiment’s soldiers.

Rygaard had immigrated from Jutland, Denmark.  He was working as a merchant in New York when the war broke out.  In early 1863 he signed on as a private in Battery E, 3rd US Artillery.  But I don’t see that he ever joined that battery in the field.  Instead, he shows up next in New Orleans, accepting a discharge for commission in the 1st Louisiana Regiment of Heavy Artillery.  He was promoted to captain in early summer.  At that time there were but two companies of the regiment formed.   In September, the regiment consisted of three companies, numbering over 300 men.  Rygaard even put in a request for appointment to Colonel of the regiment.

So at the cut-off time for quarterly returns, Rygaard commanded what parts of the regiment were on duty, essentially a battalion.  And that battalion served as part of the defenses of New Orleans, with no field artillery or associated equipment worthy of mention in the summary.

However, as indicated in Dyer’s, changes were coming for this regiment… and not only a designation change.  On November 7, 1863, Special Orders No. 278 from Headquarters, Department of the Gulf came out, and read in part:

Company C, First Louisiana Heavy Artillery, under command of Capt. Loren Rygaard, commanding battalion stationed at Camp Parapet, New Orleans, having been reported by the commander of the Defenses of New Orleans in such a state of insubordination as to indicate unmistakably the incapacity or criminal action of the officers of the company, and that the conduct and character of the company is such as to make the men composing it unworthy to bear arms, Capt. Loren Rygaard, commanding battalion, and the following-named officers composing Company C, First Louisiana Heavy Artillery, viz, Capt. N. L. Rich, Senior First Lieut. H. C. Rawson, Junior First Lieut. M. J. Kenyon, Junior Second Lieut. F. Walton, are hereby dismissed the service of the United States, and the company will be immediately disarmed and sent under guard to Port Hudson, where the men will be placed at hard labor on the public works, under the direction of the commanding officer of the post, until further orders.

The quartermaster’s department will furnish the necessary transportation.
Senior Second Lieut. James M. Lawton, Company C, First Louisiana Heavy Artillery, not having served with the company during its insubordination, is honorably discharged the military service of the United States.

So no colonelcy for Rygaard.  He was discharged shortly after these orders were issued.

But the regiment remained.  In April, the 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery was brought in line with the naming convention for the US Colored Troops, thus becoming the 7th Heavy Artillery (USCT) in early April.  However, that designation was already in use by a USCT regiment then forming from contrabands from Alabama.  So in May, the Louisiana regiment was given another new designation – the 10th Heavy Artillery (USCT).  They would remain at New Orleans right up to the end of the war.  In April 1865 the regiment participated in several expeditions to speed the closure to the war.

While not a storied regiment with many battle honors, the 10th Heavy Artillery (USCT) reflects yet another aspect to the service of colored troops in the Civil War.  I do hope that some day a diligent researcher will come along to better illuminate the history of this regiment.

(Citations from Dyer’s Compendium, Part 3, Page 1213; and OR, Series I, Volume 24, Part I, Serial 41, page 791.)

 

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Kansas artillery

Despite its location, Kansas provided a surprising number artillerists to the Federal Army – three “formal” batteries, plus sections within infantry (to include USCT) and cavalry formations.  As a whole, the Kansas artillerists have not received much attention from historians.  And that is our loss, as each has an interesting service history along with a cast of characters worthy of attention.

When I started out to transcribe the summaries, one caution imposed was to limit discussion of each battery to a paragraph.  Basically, just indicating the battery commander, parent formation, any notable engagement during the quarter, and clarification to the information provided in the summary.  But often I find the need to refine and expand upon the basic information, if for nothing else to correct ambiguities… quite often enough from my own notes! Such is the case here with the Kansas summaries for the third quarter of 1863.

In the previous quarter, we found the clerks had allocated a healthy set of entries, evolved from some confusing lines in earlier quarters.  Earlier in 1863, just identifying the battery’s name must have been difficult as there was some reluctance to even accept batteries from Kansas (with some in the War Department feeling there was no need for artillery in the far west).  So the battery designations evolved from commander/organizer’s name to the formal allocated number.  We see that completely adopted for the third quarter and three batteries present:

0257_1_Snip_KS

But only two cavalry sections reporting this quarter.  Let’s work down the list:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting at St. Louis with four 10-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Norman Allen died in St. Louis on July 9, 1863.  Lieutenant Marcus D. Tenney (who had for most of the year led the battery in the field) succeeded Allen, and was promoted to captain on July 20.  Around this same time of the early summer the battery transferred from Missouri to the District of Columbus, Kentucky, and was part of the Sixteenth Corps.  They took on duties guarding the railroad lines between that point and Nashville.  So by September their mail was going to a Kentucky address.
  • 2nd Battery:  At Fort Smith, Arkansas, with with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Recall we had some questions about this battery’s reported cannon in the previous quarter.  I think the line for the third quarter is more accurate, but still has question marks. The bronze 6-pdrs may have been iron.  And we have to wonder were those Parrotts came from. Captain Edward A. Smith remained in command, with the battery part of the District of the Frontier.  However, the battery was split into sections in the field.  Lieutenant Aristarchus Wilson led two sections at Fort Blunt, Cherokee Nation (where Smith was also on duty).  Lieutenant Daniel C. Knowles led the right section at Fort Scott, Kansas.  Smith reported taking two sections into action in the battle of Honey Springs, along Elk Creek, Cherokee Nation, on July 17, with Wilson in command of a section of “two 6-pounder iron guns.”  The other section possessed two 12-pdr Napoleons.  In the action, Smith moved his Napoleons through the 2nd Colorado Infantry to a position 100 yards in front, where he directed canister fire on Confederates at 300 yards, to good effect.
  • 3rd Battery: Also reporting at Fort Smith, Arkansas, with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Let me circle back and properly discuss the origin of this battery.  Henry Hopkins and John F. Aduddell recruited this battery in 1861.  But, as Kansas needed cavalry more than artillery at that time, the unit became Company B, 2nd Kansas Cavalry (However, see NOTE at bottom).  In the battle of Maysville (or Old Fort Wayne, if you prefer), on October 22, 1862, the 2nd Kansas captured three 6-pdrs and one 12-pdr howitzer – the cannon we see on the summary.   Captain Henry Hopkins organized some of his original recruits to man this “Trophy Battery.”  Hopkins remained in command of this battery through September 1863, leading it in action at Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, and Honey Springs.  The battery was often listed as “Hopkins’ Kansas battery” on returns, though occasionally, starting in February 1863, as the “3rd Kansas Battery.”  However, not until October 1863 was the designation made official. Hopkins was not always in direct command of the battery on the field, and signed his reports as part of the 2nd Kansas Cavalry, giving some measure of the “ad-hoc” status of the unit.  The battery remained in the District of the Frontier, in Colonel William Philipps’ Brigade (also including the Indian Home Guards and the 6th Kansas Cavalry).  In late September, Hopkins accepted promotion to Major, in the 2nd Kansas Cavalry and took on other duties (he was shortly after defeated in the Second Battle of Cabin Creek, which falls outside the scope of our discussions).  Lieutenant Bradford S. Bassett held temporary command until Lieutenant Aduddell returned.
  • 6th Kansas Cavalry: Stationed at North Fork (Town), Creek Nation (?), with a lieutenant in charge of “art. stores.”  Those stores included two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Companies of the regiment operated in the Indian Territories throughout the summer and fall.  But I do not know any specifics about the section of mountain howitzers or the officer in charge.
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry: At Fort Smith, Arkansas, with the quartermaster reporting artillery stores. But no cannon reported.  Major Julius O. Fisk commanded the detachment of the 2nd Kansas at Fort Smith.  The Regimental Quartermaster was Lieutenant Cyrus Gorton.  Stores reported included a traveling forge and a fair quantity of tools.

If we cast our inquiries to ask if there were artillery units which should have appeared on the summary for Kansas, then the first I’d mention is Armstrong’s Battery.  Captain Andrew J. Armstrong was from Company C, 1st Kansas Colored Infantry (later 79th USCT).  The regiment formed in mid-1862, but unclear is when a section of artillery came to be associated with the unit and with Armstrong.   File this as “under research.”

Furthermore, there were several militia batteries reported by the state’s adjutant.  And as Kansas was a place where militia units would often see action, despite not being mustered into Federal service, we might mention them here (just because).  Captain A.L. Dornbergh’s Artillery was “Company D” from Allen County.  Dornbergh was a probate judge in the county and his command was called up for state service during the fall.  There were probably others, but I don’t have specific details.  But we know there were several Kansas militia batteries, as a year later, during Price’s Raid, at least four batteries were called up.  And batteries just don’t form out of thin air… someone has to have a cannon or two!

We’ll move from those speculations and on to the numbers recorded for the ammunition reported.  Starting with the smoothbore:

0259_1_Snip_KS

  • 2nd Battery: 178 shot, 229 case, and 170 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 100 shell, 36 case, and 82 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Battery: 100 shot, 300 case, and 100 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 100 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 150 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 6th Kansas Cavalry: 140 case and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

In my opinion, we have several transcription errors here.  The 2nd Battery should have 12-pdr Napoleon ammunition. The 3rd Battery and the 6th Cavalry should not.  Just where the numbers should lay is not easy to determine.  The data does not track well against the previous quarter’s quantities, which did seem to be in order.

No Hotchkiss projectiles reported, so we move to the next page and specifically to the Parrott columns:

0260_1A_Snip_KS

Two batteries in mind:

  • 1st Battery: 537 shell, 125 case, and 130 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 2nd Battery: 132 shot, 444 shell, 156 case, and 75 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

With no Schenkl or Tatham’s on hand, we can proceed to the small arms reported:

0260_3_Snip_KS

Only the three batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: Forty-seven Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: Thirty Army revolvers, 128 Navy revolvers, and twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Eighty-nine Army revolvers and one Navy revolver.

The Kansas artillerymen would present, I think, a good topic for a graduate student looking to plow a fresh field of research.

NOTE:  On May 22, 1862, the 2nd Kansas was ordered to provide a detail to man six 10-pdr Parrott rifles at Fort Leavenworth.  As Hopkins was in charge of the detail (if not at the start, at least later), the unit appeared on returns as “Hopkins’ Battery.”  From there, the battery proceeded east to Columbus, Kentucky and eventually joined the Army of the Mississippi at Corinth, Mississippi.  In September, the detachment was released from this duty and returned to Kansas.  As these men had experience with artillery, they were, of course, selected to man the new “Trophy Battery” a month later.  Some have interpreted this as a single battery lineage, as the commander and many of the men were the same.  However, the muster rolls don’t bear that out, meaning at the time, at least administratively, the two were separate units.  I won’t argue against it! Nor will I make the statement for it!

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky’s batteries

Battery returns from Kentucky must have posed problems for the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  Not only was there conflicts with the designations – what with a numbered and lettered designation system being used to reference the same batteries – but even getting established how many different batteries existed seemed to be an issue.  At the end of 1862, two entry lines left little but confusion.  For the first quarter of 1863, the clerks listed two of the three batteries then on active service.   And the second quarter of 1863 gave the same two batteries, out of what was then four batteries, with some designation cross-ups (along with two sections reported with infantry regiments).  But things look better for the third quarter of 1863:

0257_1_Snip_KY

Four batteries, out of what was then five batteries, plus a “section” from an infantry regiment.  That “section” actually had more guns than many real batteries!  So let us dive into the administrative details:

  • 1st Battery (or Battery A):  At Murfreesboro with two 6-pdr field guns, two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Theodore S. Thomasson remained in command.  And the battery remained at Murfreesboro as unassigned artillery in the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 2nd Battery (or Battery B): No return.  Captain John M. Hewett’s battery detached from Second Division, Fourteenth Corps to support the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics at Elk River Bridge, Tennessee. An army return from late September 1863 indicated four artillery pieces were at the bridge, presumably all Hewett’s.  A wartime photo shows this bridge rivaled the famous “cornstalks and beanpoles” Potomac Creek Bridge of Virginia.

ElkRiverBridge_small

  • 3rd Battery (or Battery C):  Not listed.  While organizing, earlier in the spring, the battery was captured (and paroled) when Confederates raided Lebanon, Kentucky, thus setting things back a bit.  Formally, the battery did not muster until September 1863.  The battery remained at Louisville, Kentucky through the fall.  Captain John W. Neville in command, the battery was assigned to First Division, Twenty-Third Corps.
  • Battery D: This battery never completed organization. I include here just to avoid the question, “what about Battery D?”
  • Battery E: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky, with no artillery.  Captain John J. Hawes commanded this brand new battery, formally mustered on October 6, 1863.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: No location given, but with six 10-pdr Parrotts. This was Captain Seth J. Simmonds’ battery and was stationed at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia through the late summer.  The battery was assigned to Scammon’s Division, Department of West Virginia.  In late September the battery moved to Camp Toland, Charleston, West Virginia.  The battery remained active, supporting various scouting operations and expeditions in the department.
  • Company G(?), 14th Kentucky Infantry: At Louisa, Kentucky, with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles… yes, quite a battery in that infantry regiment!  Colonel George W. Gallup’s regiment was posted to Louisa as part of the Twenty-Third Corps.  Remaining behind during the Knoxville Campaign, the regiment formed into the District of Eastern Kentucky.  Though I don’t have any other details as to this “section” of artillery within the regiment.

Though we still have a mix, and mess, of designations, the clerks had made progress documenting the Kentucky batteries.

Turning to the ammunition on hand, we start as usual with the smoothbore:

0259_1_Snip_KY

Two lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery: 320 shot, 180 case, and 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 14th Infantry: 532 shot, 358 case, and 295 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 56 case and 11 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

One battery with 3-inch rifles, so one line on the Hotchkiss page:

0259_2_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 75 canister, 80 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 160 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We’ll break up the next page for clarity, starting with one additional entry for Hotchkiss:

0260_1A_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 40 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

And speaking of James, we have entries for James patent projectiles:

0260_1B_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 12 shot and 66 shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 14th Infantry: 26 shot, 49 shell, and 36 canister for James Rifles.

Out in West Virginia, there were six Parrotts manned by Kentuckians, so we find Parrott patent projectiles:

0260_1C_Snip_KY

  • Simmonds’ Battery: 1504 shell and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Simmonds’ Battery reported a large quantity of shells on hand in previous quarters.  So this is no quarterly aberration.

Turning to the Schenkl projectiles:

0260_2_Snip_KY

Two batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 250 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 69 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

And off to the right, we see an entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 1st Battery: 110 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Closing up Kentucky’s batteries, we have the small arms reported:

0260_3_Snip_KY

Just two reporting:

  • 1st Battery: Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: Twenty-four Army revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.

Next up, we turn to the Kansas batteries… you see, while the clerks were struggling with their accounting of Kentucky’s cannon, they were hard pressed to keep things alphabetical!

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – the Indian Brigade’s howitzers

Perhaps a Zane Gray reference is apt here… in that we have “Vanishing Americans”:

0249_1_Snip_IB

Last quarter, we noted an entry for the 3rd Regiment of the Indian Home Guards.  For the third quarter, we find an entry which seems to have suffered from the eraser.  I can’t say for sure, but the return looks to have posted in November:

  • Company L (?), 3rd Regiment: Location is illegible, but much clearer is the notation for two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  If indeed I transcribe the company column correctly, we have a direct connection to Captain Solomon Kaufman, who is mentioned in several reports as in charge of a section of howitzers.  The 3rd regiment, along with most of the Indian Brigade, remained around Fort Gibson.  The howitzer section was, in the previous quarter, at Fort Blunt, a supporting work of Fort Gibson.  The 3rd Regiment was under Major John A. Foreman, with Colonel William A. Phillips advanced up to command the brigade.

While I feel secure with the identification and transcription, the faded ink leaves me to wonder.  Clearly the Indian Brigade had a section of howitzers and dutifully reported such.  But is this a case where a clerk attempted to erase the entry?  Or perhaps he was running low on ink when transcribing the return?  Regardless, the bold header tells us the Ordnance Department was interested in the Indian Brigade… if for no other reason than to account for all government issued property!

We turn to the ammunition now.  What did they feed those mountain howitzers?

0251_1_Snip_IB

  • Company L, 3rd Regiment: 70 case and 72 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.

Sufficient for an expedition.  Though one would hope more ammunition was on hand, perhaps retained at in garrison’s stores.

Three (one, two, three) pages of empty cells, as the brigade had no rifled guns at this time.  So we move to the small arms:

0252_3_Snip_IB

  • Company L, 3rd Regiment: Fifty-one “Springfield rifled musket, cal. 58,” two breechloading carbines, three rifles (unspecified type), and one Army revolver.

Note, no edged weapons reported.  And I have to speculate if the small arms reported were the total number with the company at that time.  Clearly fifty-one muskets would be much more than needed for the crew of two mountain howitzers.  So was Company L best considered as Kaufman’s howitzer section, with its accompanying supports?  Or was there a half company of skirmishers here supported by a pair of little mountain howitzers?  Either way, those small cannon were put to good use combating Confederate raiders in the Indian Territory.